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Kim Jong Un calls for ‘urgent action’ on CLIMATE CHANGE after floods and droughts destroyed crops

Kim Jong Un has called for ‘urgent action’ on climate change after floods and droughts destroyed vital crops in North Korea, leading to the country’s major food shortage crisis. 

The dictator ordered his officials to tackle the effects of the ‘abnormal climate’ during a Politburo meeting where he said the ‘danger’ of global warming has become higher in recent years, according to the Korean Central News Agency

The impoverished, nuclear-armed country, has been hit by severe flooding in recent years and is currently tackling a food crisis in a nation with a moribund agricultural sector that has long struggled to feed itself amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the meeting held on Thursday, Kim said the ‘disastrous weather’ is becoming more pronounced worldwide. ‘Our country is also lying vulnerable to its danger,’ Kim said. 

Kim Jong Un has called for ‘urgent action’ on climate change after floods and droughts destroyed vital crops in North Korea, leading to the country’s major food shortage crisis. Pictured: Kim during the Politburo meeting on Thursday

The dictator ordered his officials to tackle the effects of the 'abnormal climate' during a Politburo meeting where he said the 'danger' of global warming has become higher in recent years, according to the Korean Central News Agency

The dictator ordered his officials to tackle the effects of the ‘abnormal climate’ during a Politburo meeting where he said the ‘danger’ of global warming has become higher in recent years, according to the Korean Central News Agency

The impoverished, nuclear-armed country, has been hit by severe flooding in recent years and is currently tackling a food crisis in a nation with a moribund agricultural sector that has long struggled to feed itself amid the Covid-19 pandemic

The impoverished, nuclear-armed country, has been hit by severe flooding in recent years and is currently tackling a food crisis in a nation with a moribund agricultural sector that has long struggled to feed itself amid the Covid-19 pandemic

Last year, North Korea suffered severe flooding which damaged vital crops and left hundreds of families without homes. This year, crops were also damaged by droughts and subsequent flooding. 

Last month, heavy rains in northeastern North Korea destroyed or flooded 1,170 houses and forced 5,000 residents to evacuate to safety, North Korea’s state TV reported.

The downpour in South Hamgyong Province inundated or washed away hundreds of hectares of farmlands and destroyed many bridges. Footage showed houses submerged up to their red-brick roofs, a severed bridge over muddy water and a swollen river. 

Summer rains in North Korea often cause serious damage to its agricultural and other sectors due to poor drainage, deforestation and dilapidated infrastructure in the impoverished country.  

During Thursday’s meeting, Kim called for senior province, city and county officials to focus largely on improving land management to help the country become more resistance to the changing climate. 

He ordered the officials to adopt an ‘ambitious plan’ that calls for river improvement, reforestation for erosion control, dyke maintenance and tide embankment projects.  Kim also called for a sustainable flood management infrastructure.

During the meeting held on Thursday, Kim said the 'disastrous weather' is becoming more pronounced worldwide. 'Our country is also lying vulnerable to its danger,' Kim said. Pictured: Kim visits a flood-hit border village in Kimhwa County, Kangwon Province, North Korea

During the meeting held on Thursday, Kim said the ‘disastrous weather’ is becoming more pronounced worldwide. ‘Our country is also lying vulnerable to its danger,’ Kim said. Pictured: Kim visits a flood-hit border village in Kimhwa County, Kangwon Province, North Korea

Kim has acknowledged a ‘tense’ food situation that could worsen if all of the crops fail, exacerbating economic problems amid strict self-imposed border and movement restrictions that have slowed trade to a trickle.

North Korea is a mountainous nation, meaning suitable land for farming is in short supply and many of its farmers lack access to tools such as tractors, combine harvesters and threshers.

As a result, it is thought that North Korea relies on foreign imports and aid to feed around a third of its population.

Even with those imports, a 2017 UN report concluded that two fifths of the population are undernourished – meaning they don’t have access to the number of calories needed per day to maintain a healthy weight.

A third of North Korea children are also thought to be stunted, meaning they did not get enough calories during the early years of their life. 

In April this year, Kim warned that North Korea is facing a famine comparable with one in the 1990s during which millions of people are thought to have died. 

City workers clear up a muddy water underway on a road in Busan, South Korea on August 24

 City workers clear up a muddy water underway on a road in Busan, South Korea on August 24

He said his country is in its ‘worst ever’ situation due to natural disasters last summer that devastated farmland, the Covid pandemic which has halted trade, and US-led sanctions over its missile programme.   

Elsewhere in the Politburo meeting on Thursday, Kim ordered officials to wage a tougher epidemic prevention campaign in ‘our style’ after he turned down some foreign COVID-19 vaccines offered via the U.N.-backed immunization program.

Kim said officials must ‘bear in mind that tightening epidemic prevention is the task of paramount importance which must not be loosened even a moment’.

While stressing the need for material and technical means of virus prevention and increasing health workers’ qualifications, Kim also called for ‘further rounding off our style epidemic prevention system,’ KCNA said.

Kim previously called for North Koreans to brace for prolonged COVID-19 restrictions, indicating the nation’s borders would stay closed despite worsening economic and food conditions. 

Since the start of the pandemic, North Korea has used tough quarantines and border closures to prevent outbreaks, though its claim to be entirely virus-free is widely doubted.  


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